How toxic is Kaepernick?

Former quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been running drill in front of a number of NFL scouts in an effort to get back in the game.  But can he?

Kaepernick is better remembered for his disrespect of the National Anthem.  Initially he showed his contempt by refusing to stand.  In an effort to ease the public reaction, he took to kneeling – and kicked off a kneeling craze throughout the NFL.  He said his effort was to bring attention to social injustice against black Americans.  The public response suggested that it was not the most appropriate way to do that – attacking the very essence of our national unity.

He put the NFL leadership in an uncomfortable position, and they handled it badly. Feeling the pressure against Kaepernick in fandom and not wanting to be politically incorrect, the NFL botched the response.

Putting all the controversy aside, there was one certain outcome.  Kaepernick joined the ranks of former NFL players. He now wants to put that in the past and get back into the game.

The question is: Will any team sign him?  The fans have not forgotten or forgiven his actions.  Even the imprimatur of Nike – which made him a featured shoe salesman – was unlikely to create a clamor to see Kaepernick on the field again.

There are rumors that at least two NFL teams are “looking at Kaepernick.”  No indication which teams.  If that is accurate – and they are really serious – methinks that it will be a couple of the lower-rated teams who can use the publicity to increase viewership (meaning advertising revenues).

Since Kaepernick was a fairly good quarterback – but not sensational – it is unlikely that he would be a superstar for any team that would hire him.  He may not even be a first-string player.

Should a team offer him a contract, would it be at a very low compensation – reflecting his abilities and his desperation to get back on the field.  Would it include a “no kneeling clause?”  Would he be required to stand respectfully for the National Anthem?

Like it or not, Kaepernick is still a very controversial figure – still toxic among a LOT of fans.  It is a BIG risk for any team – and maybe just big enough to keep Kaepernick in the stands.

So, there ‘tis.

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